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FRAMINGHAM – For the past 20 years, members of the Temple Beth Am Sisterhood have made a Christmas dinner for challenged adults living in group homes in Framingham.

The annual Christmas Day dinner mitzvah project supports residents in group homes run by the Advocates organization, said Temple Beth Am Sisterhood member Wendy Schwartz.

The meals support about a dozen people in 4 group homes, said Schwartz.

Volunteers started early Christmas morning putting the turkeys in the oven before 9 a.m.

“We had a small crew yesterday prepping the turkeys and then we put them in the oven today,” said Schwartz.

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Schwartz was busy chopping up onions while Merle Kushner was making the sweet potatoes, just after 10 a.m.

Ellen Miller and Dena Stetson made the green bean casserole.

Schwartz and Nieke Grebe were busy making the stuffing.

In the hall, Patty Frankel, Sue Siegel, and Linda Levitt and Miller were preparing the cookie platters.

Each home received a cookie platter, some peppermint bark, a pie or Santa Cake, homemade cupcakes, and a bucket of cookies.

“Some of the cookies were made by Temple members,” said Frankel.

“I’ve called this my feel good project for 20 years,” said Schwartz, who has headed up the project for the last several years.

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“I’ve been very active in this temple my whole adult life, but this is the one thing I’ve still held onto. I just love it. We have a good time and it’s a good thing. It’s like we’re providing a beautiful holiday dinner for folks, who normally would not have anything and don’t have family and friends around. We’re really doing a good deed, but at the same time we have a lot of fun too,” said Schwartz.

Wegmans donated gift cards to the Temple, said Schwartz. “I had some people do shopping, and then some of us do the cooking.”

This was Levitt’s first time volunteering.

“It is always important for me to give back. That’s how I live my life and especially at Christmas time where it’s not my holiday. It’s important to give to other people,” said Levitt who is a member of Temple Beth Sholom in Framingham.

“I don’t even belong to this Temple. I just knew they needed help this year and that’s all I have to hear; so I came to help,” said Levitt. “It gives me something to do and I know I’m doing something for humanity.”

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.